A primary goal of the ALPLM Education Department is to help teachers teach. To that end, teacher workshops are an important component of Education Department programming. Workshops are designed for educators in most subjects and in all grade levels unless otherwise indicated. Under our "Teaching Teachers" initiative, the ALPLM is committed to providing educators with strong content-based programs on topics such as Lincoln, the Civil War, African-American History and Illinois History to name a few. These intense "history lessons" will assist educators in developing a solid background on unfamiliar topics or in mastering a discipline they already know and love. In addition, the Education Department's hands-on classroom application programs will provide ideas and methods for teaching historical content across the curriculum using digital resources, primary documents and material culture.


FREE Civil War Tech Teacher Professional Development Workshops

Spend a morning at the ALPLM learning about the many ways that science and technology influenced the Civil War. Featuring topics from the popular Civil War Tech program, each session invites teachers to merge science and history, two areas of study not often united but undeniably connected. Through experiments, artifacts, games, as well as presentations from scientists and scholars, teachers will learn new ways to connect their students to the Civil War.
June 21, 2017: Transportation (Railroads, Ironclad Ships, Submarines)
9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
Registration required. To register, complete the form below and send to Genevieve.Kaplan@illinois.gov.
- Examine the important role the development of the steam engine played in how Civil War railroads and ships moved.
- Learn how new and improving methods of transportation altered the way battles took place. Learn about the vital role railroads played in transporting troops and supplies and how the Union's extensive railroad system was an advantage over the Confederacy.
- Discover how the first battle between the ironclad ships USS Monitor and CSS Virginia (also known as the battle between the Monitor and the Merrimac) forever changed naval warfare.
- Uncover the mysteries of Civil War submarines including the famous disappearance of the Confederate submarine, the CSS H.L. Hunley.
Upcoming 2017 Civil War Tech Teacher Programs
July 22: Communication (Telegraph, Photography, Balloons)
August 2: On the Battlefield (Civil War Medicine, Ambulances, Soldier Life)


The Civil War Tech Series is made possible thanks to the generous support of AT&T.  


Teacher In-Services

If you can’t come to us, we can come to you! We will work with district personnel, other partners, and evaluators to assess needs and develop workshops at the ALPLM or at your school. Contact Genevieve Kaplan at Genevieve.Kaplan@illinois.gov or phone 217-558-8935 for more information.


Samplings of Workshops Offered

Meet Mary Lincoln

This workshop will explore the fascinating life of Mary Lincoln from her childhood, her courtship with Lincoln, their marriage, family life and the joys and sorrows of life as the wife of a famous politician and president, during one of the most dramatic eras in our nation's history. Examine primary documents and artifacts, read her letters and step into her world. Classroom activities addressing Illinois Learning Standards will be presented.

Primary Sources and Artifacts: Tangible, Touchable, Teachable Tools

Using primary sources and artifacts in the classroom to explore stories from the past is an excellent way, not only to study history, but to improve oral language development which in turn can enhance students' reading and writing skills. In this hands-on session, participants will analyze reproduction artifacts, including objects, primary documents, images, political cartoons, and more, to learn methods and criteria for selecting teachable primary sources for their classroom. Participants will learn how to analyze these materials and activities to utilize them across the curriculum.

Research Colloquium

Are you eager to incorporate primary source material into your classroom, but struggling to find the materials and organize them in an effective way? Are you convinced there are fascinating resources in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library collections — stuff your students would LOVE — but you have no idea how to go about finding it? Have you always wanted to spend some time exploring the collections at the ALPL and finding great material to take back to school? Is there a topic you've always been interested in but never had the time to study it, much less develop it into a classroom activity? Then come spend two days with the Education Department exploring and researching the vast holdings of the ALPLM. Day one will familiarize educators with the holdings of the ALPL. Find out how to access digital resources from the Library collections, how to utilize the Library for research and how to obtain usable reproduction documents to take back to your classroom. On day two, work with our educators to create an effective lesson plan, based upon the primary resources you've gathered and tailored to your students and your needs. By workshop end you will have a workable lesson plan for YOUR classroom, complete with primary documents from the Library collections.

Slavery: Viewpoints

Slavery played a prominent role in America's political, social, and economic history in the period leading up to the Civil War. The public discourse in the first half of the 19th century exposed the nation's conflicting ideas about slavery and race. Politicians were increasingly pressured to make their opinions known. Lincoln was no exception. In this workshop participants will explore the history of slavery and examine primary documents to analyze Lincoln's position on slavery.

ALPLM Teacher Orientation

This workshop will introduce educators to the resources available at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Learn how to schedule a tour, how to prepare your class for their visit and methods for making the most of your school trip to the Museum. In addition, find out how to access digital resources from the Library collections, how to utilize the Library for research and other opportunities for professional development and classroom activities available through the ALPLM Education Department. The session will include a tour of the Museum.

Political Cartoons in the Classroom

This workshop will introduce educators to using political cartoons to teach across the curriculum. Upon completion of this workshop, teachers will have a basic understanding of the history of political cartoons; identify the elements of cartoons (exaggeration, symbolism, labeling, irony and analogy); identify methods and techniques used by cartoonists to convey messages, including line, shading and form; interpret political cartoons to understand the cartoonist's point of view; identify online and print resources for finding political cartoons and have a clear plan for utilizing political cartoons in the classroom.

"This Damned Old House," Abraham Lincoln in the White House

This workshop will cover the adjustments the Lincoln's experienced in moving from Illinois to the White House and the impact of Washington's social scene on the family. The daily routine of President Lincoln will be examined from the burdens of the Civil War, to dealing with office seekers, his lack of privacy and the responsibilities of the presidency. Participants will also explore Mary Lincoln's renovations and how her endeavors were viewed by her contemporaries. Practical ideas and activities will be offered for incorporating the Lincoln's experience into the classroom curriculum.